Having your own tour business can be time-consuming, stressful, and straight-up tough at times. Running tours and experiences is so much more than planning vacations. It involves extensive research, countless phone calls, buckets of coordinating, managing customer expectations, and the need to stay on top of tourism trends. Although being “on” all the time–for your guests, employees, business partners, etc.–can sometimes make you feel like you’re going crazy, it can also be a rewarding experience. The question is: how can you run a successful tour company(opens in a new tab), manage a staff of tour guides(opens in a new tab), satisfy your customers(opens in a new tab), and market your business(opens in a new tab) without having a breakdown?
There are quite a few stress management techniques you can try at work. These, of course, are dependant on your job and work environment. And everyone is different, so finding the right balance can be a process of trial-and-error. Relaxation techniques vary from the simple to the complex so it depends on you, your job, and what you feel you can do.
Here are some ideas from the experts:
We all breathe, most of the time without even thinking about it. But concentrating on and regulating your breathing can actually be a major destressor. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, the simplest solution would be to close your eyes and take ten slow and deep breaths, counting as you go. If the phone rings or you lose count, start over. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try it again and this time hold your breath for a count of three before letting it out. By the time you are done you will be feeling much more relaxed. Mindfulness is a technique that has gained popularity in recent years, and now even tour operators are incorporating meditation into their wellness retreats(opens in a new tab). If it doesn’t work for you the first time round, keep trying. Often it can take a little while to get into the mindset, but once you do the benefits will be worth it.
Take a Walk
If it’s a nice day, go outside and walk around for a while. Not only will the exercise boost your endorphins, but the sun will help your body produce Vitamin D. Pay attention to your surroundings and be in the present moment. Dedicate these ten or fifteen minutes solely to you–the world won’t fall apart while you regain your calm. Then, when you’re feeling more in control, pick up where you left off. If the weather is too bad for a walk or if you don’t have access to outdoor space, there are other solutions. Get up and walk around your office or take a walk through the building. Getting your body up and moving for at least fifteen minutes can do wonders for stress levels.
Listen to Music
The power of music is universal, and no matter what your music taste there is bound to be a genre that suits you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, put those earphones in and jam to your favorite tunes. Whether you enjoy classical, country, or hard rock, it doesn’t matter. Listen to whatever you enjoy and do not let anyone interrupt for at least fifteen minutes. This is your break time. Music has been proven to reduce anxiety and increase feel-good chemicals, so what are you waiting for? If you’re alone at work or the situation allows for it, you can even get up and dance, which will boost your endorphins and make you feel even better.
No, not with a beer or an alcoholic drink. It is important to drink water throughout the day so that your body and mind function well. Tea is also one of the most relaxing drinks you can have when you are stressed. Chamomile tea has a whole host of benefits, but is largely used as a natural relaxer. If you don’t have chamomile at hand, a cup of hot tea will almost always put you in a more restful state. Be careful to choose a tea that is lower in caffeine–otherwise your heart rate may increase and you could end up feeling worse than before. Green tea is a good alternative to chamomile as it is an antioxidant, which will also help you feel better.
This is important: you do not have to do everything yourself. Delegate some of the smaller tasks to other staff members. For returning phone calls, filling out paperwork, and other mundane chores, get your assistant to do it. You are the boss for a reason, and an overworked and underperforming leader is no help to anyone. Work hard, of course, but don’t take everything on your own shoulders. Your team are there to support you, and you should all feel capable of completing your tasks while maintaining a healthy mental state.
Talk to Someone
If you find that you are stressed all of the time or that it is affecting your daily activities, you may need to talk to someone. There are over 2,000 licensed therapists at Betterhelp.com(opens in a new tab) who are available to help you 24/7. No appointment needed and you do not even have to leave your house. No matter how overwhelmed or alone you feel, there is always help available.
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